Ambassador Hardeep Puri was part of a Gateway House Agenda 2014 panel discussion on India’s Foreign Policy agenda for the coming years on Google Hangout.
In part-one of a two-part interview, Ambassador Puri speaks to Gateway House about the importance of foreign policy in the Indian Elections and what the foreign policy priorities should be for the next government.
Foreign Policy in the Indian Elections:
It is a superficial view that issues relating to foreign policy and security policy does not resonate. A number of the issues raised in the election campaign relate in some way to foreign policy and security policy. If a country under a massive demographic transition you need to be able to produce jobs.These jobs cannot be produced without getting your external policies right.
Foreign Policy Priorities for the next Government:
Whichever government is voted into office it will have to expeditiously address the drift seen on foreign policy in the last 10 years. We have to restore relations with our immediate neighbours, critically address relationships with China & the U.S and restore India’s position in the multilateral agencies.
India’s Economic Diplomacy Agenda:
The Indian Foreign Service and all associated ministries need to support India’s economic interests more proactive. The government must be seen to be providing an enabling environment for the private sector to enhance exports and attract FDI. India needs to get its policy matrix right. This includes: a stable tax regime, not taxing foreign investors retrospectively. There is a lot that must be done and the foreign service must be at the forefront of this.
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